My ex-husband “informed” me a couple of weeks ago that his girlfriend [whom I’ve never met] will be picking up our son from school on his days this year. We have a ‘right to first refusal’ clause built into our consent judgement that requires him to call me or one of his other family members if he cannot provide care.
He called me on a regular basis last year to do this, and I always accommodated him. I reminded him of that, and he balked – as I suspected he would. I told him that I really wanted to become acquainted with his girlfriend, and requested that he set up a meeting for the two of us so that we could get to know one another. He brought her to a camp picnic last week, but I got to the picnic RIGHT after they both left - there was really no set time for me to be there. It started at 10:00 am, and I got there at 10:30 am.
By that time they were gone. […and a “hello” is really not what I’m looking for… I just want to have a conversation with her – from what I understand, she is a good girl from a nice family…] Well, this meeting has not yet happened, and before I knew it another issue cropped up. I am a teacher, and my start date is approximately 3 weeks before my son’s official first day of kindergarten.
Randy and I talked about it, and we said ‘we’d see what we could do.’ Well, I found someone in the neighborhood who has excellent references that can keep him for the entire three weeks. [She typically babysits only teachers’ children.] When I called my ex with the great news, he said we’d have to talk about it when he got home from out-of-town. I asked him why, and he just repeated himself. I then asked him if he had someone else in mind, and he told me that his girlfriend would be able to keep our son. I said that I didn’t agree with that.
It is my belief that girlfriends shouldn’t play the role of ‘parent’ and the lady that I want to send him to would be able to provide stability and continuity for our son during those three weeks. I understood in a previous conversation that his girlfriend works [… I don’t know where…]. So, I asked him how many days she could take off work, and he said that it was none of my business. I feel like his response was inappropriate.
Anything that has to do with my son and his care is and always will be my business. I’m disappointed because we co-parent, and in order to effectively co-parent we have to maintain an amicable relationship. I am more than willing to include his girlfriend-if this is to be a long term relationship- with our discussions about decisions regarding our son, but I think it is not at all the right thing for him to have handled this issue in the manner that he did.
Anyway, I have an idea of what I’m going to do and say, but I’d like to hear what some of you think about this one.